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Monitoring Main Mode

Applies To: Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2

Main Mode Internet Key Exchange (IKE) negotiation establishes a secure channel, known as the Internet Security Association and Key Management Protocol (ISAKMP) security association (SA), between two computers. The ISAKMP SA is used to protect subsequent key exchanges between peer computers, known as Quick Mode negotiation. To establish the secure channel, Main Mode negotiation determines a set of cryptographic protection suites, exchanges keying material to establish the shared secret key, and authenticates computer identities.

Monitoring Main Mode SAs can provide information about which peers are currently connected to this computer, when the SA was formed, which protection suite was used to form the SA, and other information.

Generic filters

Generic filters are IP filters that are configured to use any of the IP address options as either a source or destination address. IPsec allows you to use keywords, such as My IP Address, DNS Server, DHCP Server, WINS Servers, and Default Gateway, in the configuration of filters. When keywords are used, generic filters show the keywords in the IP Security Monitoring snap-in. Specific filters are derived by expanding keywords into IP addresses.

Adding, removing, and sorting columns

You can add, remove, rearrange, and sort by these columns in the results pane:

  • Name.

  • Source. This is the IP address of the packet source.

  • Destination. This is the IP address of the packet destination.

  • IKE Policy. This is the name of the IKE policy associated with this generic filter, not the name of the IPsec policy that you created using the IPsec Policy snap-in. The policy details, such as which set of cryptographic algorithms was used, can be viewed in the IKE Policy item.

  • Authentication Methods. This is a list of all the authentication methods available to the filter, in order of preference.

  • Connection Type. This is the type of connection that this filter is applied to, either local area network (LAN), remote access, or all network connection types.

Specific filters

Specific filters are expanded from generic filters by using the IP addresses of the source or destination computer for the actual connection. For example, if you have a filter that used the My IP Address option as the source address and the DHCP Server option as the destination address, then when a connection is formed using this filter, a filter that has your computer's IP address and the IP address of the DHCP server that this computer uses is automatically created.

noteNote
The IP Security Monitor snap-in can also resolve IP addresses to DNS names for the Specific Filters folder in the Quick Mode folder, but not in the Main Mode folder.

Adding, removing, and sorting columns

You can add, remove, rearrange, and sort by these columns in the results pane:

  • Name.

  • Source. This is the IP address of the packet source.

  • Destination. This is the IP address of the packet destination.

  • Direction. This specifies whether the filter is inbound or outbound.

  • IKE Policy. This is the name of the IKE policy, not the name of the IPsec policy that you created using the IPsec Policy snap-in. The policy details, such as which set of cryptographic algorithms was used, can be viewed in the IKE Policy item.

  • Authentication Methods. This is a list of all the authentication methods available to the filter, in order of preference.

  • Weight. This is the priority the IPsec service gives to the filter. Weight is derived from a number of factors. For more information about filter weights, see http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=62212.

    noteNote
    The weight property is always set to 0 on computers running Windows Vista®, Windows Server® 2008, or later versions of Windows.

IKE policies

The IKE policy refers to the integrity or encryption methods that the two peer computers can negotiate with in the Main Mode key exchange.

Statistics

This table displays the statistics available from the Main Mode Statistics view:

noteNote
Some of these statistics do not apply to computers running Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, or later versions of Windows.

 

IKE Statistic Description

Active Acquire

An acquire is a request by the IPsec driver to have IKE perform a task. The Active Acquire statistic includes the outstanding request and the number of queued requests, if any. Typically, the number of active acquires is 1. Under a heavy load, the number of active acquires is 1 and the number of requests that are queued by IKE for processing increases.

Active Receive

The number of IKE messages received that are queued for processing.

Acquire Failures

The number of times that an acquire has failed.

Receive Failures

The number of times that the Windows Sockets WSARecvFrom() function has failed while receiving IKE messages.

Send Failures

The number of times that the Windows Sockets WSASendTo() function has failed while sending IKE messages.

Acquire Heap Size

The number of entries in the acquire heap, which stores active acquires. This number increases under a heavy load and then gradually decreases over time, as the acquire heap is cleared.

Receive Heap Size

The number of entries in the IKE receive buffers for incoming IKE messages.

Authentication Failures

The total number of identity authentication failures (Kerberos, certificate, and preshared key) that occurred during Main Mode negotiation. If you are having difficulty communicating securely, attempt the communication and refer to this statistic to see if this number increases. If it does, check your authentication settings for either an unmatched authentication method or an incorrect authentication method configuration (for example, the use of preshared keys that do not match).

Negotiation Failures

The total number of negotiation failures that occurred during Main Mode or Quick Mode negotiations. If you are having difficulty communicating securely, attempt the communication and refer to this statistic to see if this number increases if this number increases. If it does, check your authentication and security method settings for an unmatched authentication method, an incorrect authentication method configuration (for example, the use of preshared keys that do not match), or unmatched security methods or settings.

Invalid Cookies Received

A cookie is a value contained in a received IKE message that is used by IKE to find the state of an active Main Mode. A cookie in a received IKE message that cannot be matched with an active Main Mode is invalid.

Total Acquire

The total number of work requests submitted by IKE to the IPsec driver.

Total Get SPI

The total number of requests submitted by IKE to the IPsec driver to obtain a unique Security Parameters Index (SPI).

Key Additions

The number of outbound Quick Mode SAs added by IKE to the IPsec driver.

Key Updates

The number of inbound Quick Mode SAs added by IKE to the IPsec driver.

Get SPI Failures

The number of failed requests submitted by IKE to the IPsec driver to obtain a unique SPI.

Key Addition Failures

The number of failed outbound Quick Mode SA addition requests submitted by IKE to the IPsec driver.

Key Update Failures

The number of failed inbound Quick Mode SA addition requests submitted by IKE to the IPsec driver.

ISADB List Size

The number of Main Mode state entries, including negotiated Main Modes, Main Modes in progress, and Main Modes that failed and have not been deleted.

Connection List Size

The number of Quick Mode state entries.

IKE Main Mode

The total number of successful SAs created during Main Mode negotiations.

IKE Quick Mode

The total number of successful SAs created during Quick Mode negotiations. Because there are typically multiple Quick Mode SAs created for each Main Mode SA, this number does not necessarily match the Main Mode number.

Soft Associations

The total number of negotiations that resulted in the use of plaintext (also known as soft SAs). This typically reflects the number of associations formed with computers that did not respond to Main Mode negotiation attempts. This can include both computers that are not IPsec-compatible and computers that are IPsec-compatible but do not have IPsec policy to negotiate security with this IPsec peer. Although soft SAs are not the result of Main Mode and Quick Mode negotiations, they are still treated as Quick Mode SAs.

Invalid Packets Received

The number of received IKE messages that are invalid, including IKE messages with invalid header fields, incorrect payload lengths, and incorrect values for the responder cookie (when it should be set to 0). Invalid IKE messages are commonly caused by stale retransmitted IKE messages or an unmatched preshared key between the IPsec peers.

noteNote
Some of these statistics can be used to detect network attack attempts.

Security associations

This view displays the active SAs with this computer. An SA is the combination of a negotiated key, security protocol, and SPI, which together define the security used to protect the communication from sender to receiver. Therefore, by looking at the security associations for this computer, you can determine which computers have connections with this computer, which type of data integrity and encryption is being used for that connection, and other information.

This information can be helpful when you are testing IPsec policies and troubleshooting access issues.

Adding, removing, and sorting columns

You can add, remove, rearrange, and sort by these columns in the results pane:

  • Me. This is the local computer IP address.

  • My ID. This is the local computer DNS name.

  • Peer. This is the remote computer or peer IP address.

  • Peer ID. This is the remote computer or peer DNS name.

  • Authentication . This is the authentication method used in creating the SA.

  • Encryption. This is the encryption method used by the SA for Quick Mode key exchanges.

  • Integrity. This is the data integrity method used by the SA for Quick Mode key exchanges.

  • Diffie-Hellman. This is the Diffie-Hellman group used to create the Main Mode SA.

Additional references

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